FA "Ochimizu -Fountain of Youth" (8C?) by Dai Koyamada

The now 44-year-old rockmaster Dai Koyamada has done it again. He first ascented with “Ochimizu -Fountain of Youth” another top boulder in November. It is his second difficult boulder this month. When it comes to the assessment, Dai is covered. But thought it would be one of his top 5 problems.

The boulder is located in the Gero bouldering crag in Japan. So far, Dai first ascented twenty-three 8C boulders and climbed more than 30 boulders of this grade. This makes him the most successful boulderer in the world. The 165 cm tall climber was able to climb his first 8C boulder in 2003. In 2005 he did the 7th ascent of “Action Directe” 9a.

“To continue where we left off. Despite injuring a finger in the off season, I was in good enough shape to try the project. On the first day, I focused on remembering each move. The project as a whole felt too difficult on this day, so much so that I questioned whether it would ever be possible for me to link the moves. But as I spent more time and my body got used to the problem, I felt that I was slowly but steadily making progress toward a red point.

On the 13th of this month I was down to one remaining move. I rested for one day, and managed to make the first ascent on the 15th. The story of this boulder came full circle as Mr. Imai was there to watch the FA, and we shared the joy of completing this line.

I’ve reached an age at which declining performance is a daily concern, but I still made it back to this boulder in time. I named this problem “Ochimizu” (Fountain of Youth), in reflection of my futile wish to remain young, and count it among the top five of my first ascents.

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